Monday, January 31, 2005

Bloggers Meet

What happens when a few bloggers decide to get together on a weekday?

Well, apart from sharing ideas, views and opinions over a cuppa, the cameras rolled and they had their pictures taken. For a brief on what transpired, check 'Coffee and Conversation' over at Anitas.


Thursday, January 27, 2005


My phone took a beating this morning when it fell off my hand and crashed on the floor. I had a bad feeling that it would be the last time I'll ever see it. Fortunately, besides the panel coming off a bit (requiring me to clip it back), nothing really happened. Not even a scratch.

Its been my loyal companion for almost a year and a half. It keeps me well connected and I've never been in a situation where I wasn't able to contact anyone. Earlier, I had it set to notify me of any new email that I got. But I had that removed when my inbox started to flood. It still does help me wakeup on time everyday.

That made me think - What do people really use their phones for? I asked a few and the most common replies were - phone, sms and alarm. Well if thats the case, what about all those camera phones available in the market.

Well, for start, its still too early to invest in one. Camera phones are now in an evolutionary phase. You have newer and more advanced feature models springing up every so often. It will take a little more time before you can actually replace your digital camera with one integrated with a phone. Maybe I'd wait for the time when Nokia and Nikon decide to collaborate (Nikkia?) and engineer a product leveraging on their individual expertise.

What other mobile applications can you think of that could make life simpler? I've always found the location information showing up on the screen really cool - especially when you're travelling and want to know where you are at any given point. Why not take it a step further and display a location map showing the surrounding areas of the current base station to which the user is locked and one that changes as a user switches from one base station to another. Well, its something I've always wished on a phone. Whats on your wishlist?

Video on Demand

Yahoo's response to Google's video search is pretty impressive. Unlike Google, Yahoo indexes video clippings that are already available online. Try running a search on Tsunami and you'll see.

With players like Yahoo and Microsoft leveraging on their existing content and constantly pressurising Google, it can only be good news for the rest of us.

These initiatives by the Big-3 are a step towards a video-on-demand future, where the viewers will decide as to what they want to watch and when.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Google video

Some time end of last year, there were talks about Google, Yahoo and Microsoft developing new search tools for video. Google, as expected released its beta version today.

"Our mission is to give viewers complete access to public affairs programming and we are committed to use new technologies to enhance the value of our services."
-Brian Lamb, C-SPAN Chairman and CEO

I ran a search on 'Friends' and clicked on 'The One Where Eddie Wont Go' link. It threw up still images from the show along with short snippets of text. It also tells you when the next show is likely to go on air (date and time). The search is now limited to a few American Channels like FOX and NBC, so it will take a while before an Indian version is out. Catching up with your favourite tele-serials will be a breeze then!

Friday, January 21, 2005


As if writing about blogs isn’t ridiculous enough, I’ve recently discovered something very disturbing about the words I put here - people are reading them.

It’s not just a few friends and family either. People at work read it. Some are people I hardly know. Others are people I know well. It gets really scary when my boss and people who work with me start reading what I write. I really should demand that my posts are not read, as they’re wasting time that should be more usefully spent on our long list of projects to do.

The reason I know this is not because people have told me they read this or they’ve been posting comments. By default at my workplace, the desktop is named the same as your email id. Worse, when you visit any web site on the internet, there are no protections to disable that name from appearing in the site’s logs there. Exploiting this fact, I went through the website logs for The RadioHead and ran a report on who was reading my blog.

It’s really strange when you meet a person you hardly know and he already knows you from your blog. “Yeah, you’re that radiohead guy!” Oh boy, I hope not.

Again I realize the irony of saying this, but it’s wierd having people I know in one sphere of life being so aware of what’s going on in other parts of my life.

There's probably one of the things I agree with Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun, and it’s this quote: “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Two little mice

"Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that he eventually churned the cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I'm that second mouse."

Chris Walken, Catch Me If You Can

Monday, January 17, 2005


If everyday were like Sunday, I would be highly reclusive, well rested, perpetually clean, lethargic, have no social skills, and have a freakishly organized house. I passed up a day in the world and two attractive get-togethers to hang up my freshly washed clothes, read books, and arrange my newest CD in front of Swades, Strings, and Sting. A gloomy cloud passed over at some time that I didn't note, I ate one meal and a string of haphazard snacks, and I let that Fuzon CD play on repeat at least twice. I'd like another Sunday tomorrow, but more than that would probably be a bad idea.

Besides, I've got to pay the rent today as I'm two days overdue. Shucks!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Currently Reading

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

Double Delight

Blogstreet has featured The RadioHead as its 'Blog Of The Day'. Thanks to all for making this possible.

The RadioHead has also been nominated for the 2004 IndiBloggies Award in the Best Science/Technology IndiBlog category. Do visit the site and cast your vote.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Yahoo Desktop Search beta

Yahoo has launched its Desktop Search tool. The array of supported file formats is pretty impressive. Go ahead - try it and share your experiences.

Its certainly not my cup of tea, as I pretty much know where my files are located on the computer and wouldn't want another nifty app to use my resources.

Blogs - We, The Media

After the Tsunami came smashing into coastal Asia and East Africa, much of the initial information about what had happened came from the internet, especially from personal journals or blogs.

Blog - "noun (short for Weblog) (1999) : a website that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments and often hyperlinks provided by the writer."
[*Blog* was recently declared as the no1. word of 2004]

I spend a good chunk of the day in front of the screen, so blogs [using aggregators to scan RSS feeds] do feature on the things I read online. With the exception of books, I head online for practically everything else - email, news, blogs, academics, research and ofcourse IM.

A colleague of mine asked me this morning - how do you know which blogs to read and which ones to not? Well, you don't.

Its the same with newspapers, you skim and scan pages at first and then select those that you want to read. Blogs are more interactive than newspapers with people from across the globe pitching in their thoughts on the same topic. Also called as participatory journalism, blogs are more of a consumer-centric media where the consumers control when and how they obtain news as well as what they define as news. This media is always on, real-time and 24x7.

So then, the inevitable question - will blogs replace traditional journalism? I think not.

Journalists are accountable to the general public through their credibility. Bloggers on the other hand aren't accountable for what they report. If someone reports on a subject regularly via a blog, then they are just using an electronic delivery mechanism that is fundamentally no different from any other electronic publishing mechanism. At the end of the day, in any media (traditional or non-traditional), the responsibility has always been on the reader to cast a critical eye on what is being reported. The newspapers offer a dangerous illusion that you can relax in this regard.

Apart from this, what hits you hard is the sheer volume of information that are available in these blogs. I'd rather call that information overload. Sometimes you feel so exasperated by the amount of information that it makes you want to slow down, think deeply and respond to it in some meaningful way. Now, that I think about it, I feel stressed by my own inability to think deeply about every piece of information that I came across.

A good way to tackle information overload (from my experience atleast) is to sample whats already there, but to be more selective of what gets there in the first place. I'm not advocating completely closed filters, because we need serendipity to discover new concepts and ideas. A judicious selection of sources, is far better, than a more-or-less random sampling of unselected content.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Currently Reading

Are you afraid of the dark? by Sidney Sheldon

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Putting back the pieces

The Tsunami came and went taking so many innocent lives with it. Although I was in Chennai when the quake occured, it wasn't until that evening {when the screens on my TV started relaying images}, did I realize how devastating that quake turned out to be. Tens of thousands lost their homes and many more lost their lives. Its difficult to tell how I feel - lucky to be alive or otherwise. Maybe I can leave that to the abstract word we all love to hate - fate.

But after this incident, the one thing I keep thinking about is how insignificant our life is on this planet. We come and we go. Its very natural. But the fact that none of us know when and how we are going to die is quite scary.

Its pretty amusing to see how we react when we are stuck with disasters of great magnitude - like the war on Iraq or natural disasters like the Tsunami. It shows you the fragility of existence. You tend to be grateful for what you have. It makes you want to be a better person and to lead a more upright life. How long will these lessons that we learnt from such calamities stay with us? Or will it be a matter of days before we become tired of the same news and block out all those images returning back to our own greedy ways? And even if it does, can a miniscule of goodness remain and accumulate over time and make us *better* people.

Its nice to see so many people helping out with the relief activities. The private organizations and NGOs are doing tremendous amount of work, as compared to the government, to bring back normalcy to the lives of the survivors who once had that privilege. Although hoardes of people are contributing, it makes more sense in finding out what people need and getting those things rather than contributing whatever you can imagine of. As Amit Verma writes ..
We all have old clothes in our cupboards which pile up, and emergencies like this give us a chance to both get rid of them and to assuage our conscience. Giving old clothes is counter-productive, and they now constitute a particularly irritating form of garbage, lying in dirty heaps along most roads in coastal Tamil Nadu.
Its a sad state of affairs here. We have a government that isn't doing much. To top that we are still facing issues that we thought we were through with. However, inspite of all this, there is still hope. Hope for a better tomorrow and a better nation. From all what I've been following, I feel that the tsunami has created an enduring panorama of human spirit in a inhuman state.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Six Apart acquires LiveJournal

Six Apart, the company that gave Movable Type to the world has acquired LiveJournal (built on open source platform) . That makes Six Apart one the largest weblog companies in the world (with nearly 6.5 million users) giving them a fighting chance with Google's Blogger and Microsoft's MSN Spaces.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Just when..

Just when I imagined life feels more manageable.
Just when I felt I could handle everyday responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed.
Just when I thought I could enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow.

The *tide* came and washed it all away.